The Rural Roots Music Commission was formed a number of years ago, in Iowa, to find a way to honor excelling recording artists who deal with traditional old-time music, and many other traditional rural musical art forms. Since most traditional music genres have now been locked out of participation at the national level in America, the Rural Roots folks found a way to honor these gifted musicians, vocalists, songwriters, recording artists and small production companies, by honoring them with ‘CD of the Year’ awards. One of the participants in this rather large ‘gathering’ of musical genres is Kody Norris of Mountain City, Tennessee. This area of Tennessee is the extreme northeastern mountains where Kody grew up listening to an abundance of old-time mountain music. He began his musical journey at the age of nine singing in local churches. By his teens, he was offered the opportunity to fill in as lead singer and guitarist with Dr. Ralph Stanley and The Clinch Mountain Boys. By the time he was eighteen, he had established his own blend of traditional hard driving high lonesome bluegrass music. It wasn’t long before he was a regular on the Cumberland Highlanders RFD-TV national television show. The RRMC are constantly looking for music very unlike the music called ‘country’ today, and hope to restore the original intent of the genre.
The Rural Roots Music Commission will be awarding Kody Norris his “Bluegrass CD of the Year” award for his CD “When I Get The Money Made” on the main stage during the 42nd annual National Old Time Music Festival in LeMars, Iowa, which runs Aug. 28-Sept. 3 at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in LeMars, Iowa. That same stage will also enjoy the presence of Dave Berg, the executive producer of NBC’s national television program The Tonight Show, featuring Jay Leno. Berg will be emceeing main stage programs at the festival on both Friday and Saturday evenings. He is a strong supporter of advancing America’s rural music through the Rural Roots Music Commission and the NTCMA. The RRMC is part of the National Traditional Country Music Association, which has been in existence since 1976. This is their 42nd year recognizing deserving individuals and groups that have continued the tradition of old-time and traditional music no matter where they may be located.
The NTCMA created a festival of old-time music in 1976, called simply the “National Old Time Music Festival.” From small beginnings, today it is an event that lasts seven days and has ten stages to accommodate the more than 500 artists and performers that come from around the world. It is acoustic in nature, meaning no electric guitars, drums, or any kind of loud amplified music that normally drowns out a milder, older, and certainly a more down-home style of entertainment. The ‘Fiddler’s Jubilee’ the ‘Harmonica Howl’ the ‘Guitar Pull’ the ‘Band Scramble’ the ‘Mandolin Jamboree’ the ‘Autoharp Gathering’ and the ‘Jamming’ gatherings were created for those performers who are not scheduled for any of the stages. Anyone can participate. There are also workshops for beginners. It’s a celebration of America’s rural music heritage.
America’s Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame make their annual inductions during this event, and the Rural Roots Music Commission make their “CD of the Year” awards. There are six nights of old-time dances in the dance hall, and there are also arts, crafts, antiques, and a flea-market on the grounds. The motto for the NTCMA Board of Directors is “Pick one day or pick em’ all, just keep pickin’ and we’ll see you at the festival.”